• Today's Capstone of Meaningless Posts

    Because I have to atone for the health car wonkery below. You are Snoopy! Which Peanuts Character are You? brought to you by Quizilla
  • Quality, Not Longevity

    Kevin gets a lot right here . Both Tyler and Matt are correct that massive new expenditures on health care wouldn't raise life expectancy much (although, for the uninsured, of whom 18,000 or so die each year due to lack of appropriate health care, access to services would make a life expectancy difference), but they're barking up the wrong tree. Once you reach a baseline of medical spending, technology utilization, and trauma centers, you've basically done your part to keep folks alive. From there, prevention is really the name of the game, increased spending won't do much at all. It's easy, particularly in this country, to think of health care as a primarily trauma-based enterprise. That, after all, is where much of the money goes. But of all the various facets in American health services, trauma care is probably the least fucked up. You could argue back and forth on the economic merits of what we do for the very old and ill, but we are delivering those services to almost everyone...
  • What the hell is wrong with O’Reilly?

    Shakes here, with something semi-frivolous… Via MediaMatters , O’Reilly has decided to offer San Francisco to Al Qaeda, since San Franciscans passed a ballot measure urging public high schools and colleges to prohibit on-campus military recruiting: From the November 8 broadcast of Fox News' The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly : O'REILLY: Hey, you know, if you want to ban military recruiting, fine, but I'm not going to give you another nickel of federal money. You know, if I'm the president of the United States, I walk right into Union Square, I set up my little presidential podium, and I say, "Listen, citizens of San Francisco, if you vote against military recruiting, you're not going to get another nickel in federal funds. Fine. You want to be your own country? Go right ahead."
  • Tim Kaine's Semi-Pyrrhic Victory

    Posted Nicholas Beaudrot of Electoral Math Before we lionize Mark Warner for dragging Tim Kaine over the finish line, bringing an out-and-out liberal Democrat within thirty thousand votes of the Lieutenant governor's seat, destablizing the Republican coalition in Washington, rallying the stock market, turning water into wine, rescuing Katie Holmes from the clutches of scientology, and all manner of other minor miracles, I'd like to throw a bit of cold water on Kaine's win. I promise a more exhaustive analysis later this weekend. For now, suffice it to say Warner's 2001 victory represented a significant realignment of the state of Virginia. He won slim majorities in a few rural counties in Southwest Virginia, cut the usual GOP margin of victory in others, and piled up modest wins in the usual Democratic enclaves like Fairfax, Arlington, Richmond, and Alexandria. This year, Kaine won by piling up horse-whipping majorities in places like Fairfax, held on to some of Southwest VA with...
  • Things I Don't Want to See

    This , apparently, is the plan for the final episode of 7th Heaven: Creatively, the show also will go out in style, creator Brenda Hampton said. "I think this is the best season we've ever had, and we're planning a very exciting and heartwarming conclusion to the series," she said. "On the show, we talk about choosing your feelings, and we chose to feel happy and blessed to have been on the air for so long." Blech. In much sadder news, Arrested Development, which filmed some early scenes at a family member's house, is getting cancelled. Watching that show was like hanging out with a super cool old relative afflicted by a terminal illness -- you knew they weren't long for this world, but it sure was great having them around.
  • How They Getcha

    Continuing with the day's trivialities, this point from Julian Sanchez is both frivolous and insightful. Joy! We think about what we're missing out on in a bounded context, a pool of relevant options: You may be more upset that the cute woman who works in Accounting won't give you the time of day than you are that Halle Berry doesn't seem particularly interested either—even though the latter might constitute the bigger "loss" if you're looking at an unrestricted option set. So you lament the talk you have to miss because work or another event take precedence, but not the one you have to miss because it's in California—unless, perhaps, the one in California is an exceptionally appealing. So, say, you might not expend any thought over the fact that a band you really like is only playing on the other coast this tour, whereas you do if it's a concert festival with a lineup that includes a lot of your favorite bands. This is a bit of a digression from Julian's point, but hey,, it's...
  • Good Readin'

    It's thought-provoking stuff like this that make me love Brad "The Brain" Plumer so much. Hey, think that nickname will catch on? And yes, I am celebrating Vets Day by lounging at home and filling the site with vapid, meaningless posts.
  • Sounds Kinda Hot

    I would bet perfectly good money that Liberty U's toweringly regressive social code does nothing but increase the illicit excitement of sex on campus. Now, granted, the implied levels of supervision may make naked time a bit harder to arrange, but can there be any doubt that, once you've built a hidden chamber lined with lead (so Jesus's x-ray vision can't penetrate) and enticed that sexy altar boy/choir girl, the thrill is heightened and the excitement magnified? It's like Catholic School hook ups to the power of 10. The sex must be amazing !
  • A Random Question Involving Judy, T.O., and Desperate Housewives

    By Pepper of the Daily Pepper I saw two headlines on the web recently: "Judith Miller to Leave New York Times " and " Desperate Housewives ' Actor Fired" Judith Miller is, well, famous. The actor, Page Kennedy, involved is an unknown. I don't watch the show. There's too much suburban satire out there anyway. But why is it that Judith Miller gets to "leave" while someone else gets "fired"? What she did is grounds for what I call "firing." If I called myself "Miss Run Amok," ignored my editors, and started making up stuff about music videos, then I would be "fired." If I became "entangled" in any way - and I don't want to know anything about a possible Libby-Miller "entanglement" - I would be fired. Not let go. Not laid off. Fired. "Fired" is an appropriate word for Judith Miller. Now, Aaron Brown is "leaving." He is going to another network now that Anderson Cooper is hot both physically and figuratively. He didn't get canned for blowing one of the biggest stories of all time. What...
  • Shakeup at the Times

    Seems my hometown paper is ridding itself of its two op-ed page firebrands. The LA Times has decided to junk both Robert Scheer, the unreconstructed, populist lefty who represents progressivism on KCRW's Left, Right and Center, and Michael Ramirez, their crypto-conservative editorial cartoonist. Can't say I'm sad to see the latter exiting, ahem, stage right, but the former will be a loss. Say what you will about Scheer, but he had a different perspective than the rest of the media, he was a pre-Clinton liberal, a labor-liberal, and he combined it with an intellectual bent. From his most recent column: WHO IN THE White House knew about DITSUM No. 044-02 and when did they know it? That's the newly declassified smoking-gun document, originally prepared by the Defense Intelligence Agency in February 2002 but ignored by President Bush. Its declassification this weekend blows another huge hole in Bush's claim that he was acting on the best intelligence available when he pitched the invasion...